Rendering of the lagoon in winter. Image courtesy of Millcraft Investments.

As dedicated readers of NEXTpittsburgh know, we cover a lot of trends and projects that help tell the story of Pittsburgh real estate.

Some neighborhoods are trying to manage rising property values and a boom of new construction, some are struggling with the burden of disinvestment and vacant property and others are just trying to decide where to put the Ferris wheel.

We look forward to covering this dynamic sector of our city in the new year. To get you up to speed, here is an overview of the top real estate developments to watch in 2019:

3 new UPMC hospitals

New Hillman Cancer Center in Shadyside. Photo courtesy of UPMC.

On Sept. 26, the healthcare giant unveiled designs and project timelines for three, new state-of-the-art hospital complexes in Oakland, Shadyside and Uptown. Altogether, the new facilities will cost around $2 billion to build, and will further cement UPMC as a national and even world leader in healthcare.

The Uptown building, an expansion of the existing UPMC Mercy Hospital, will be home to ophthalmologic research and eye care. The Oakland location will add a heart and transplant center to UPMC Presbyterian. In Shadyside, a new hospital will specialize in the study and treatment of cancer. Look for groundbreakings for each of the projects starting in the spring.

Hazelwood Green
With its unique nonprofit ownership structure, Hazelwood Green is taking a long-term approach toward populating its 178 acres of prime Pittsburgh real estate. Still, more high-profile tenants are likely to sign up for a spot in Hazelwood Green in 2019 as the initial phases of the project begin to take shape. In September, the Pittsburgh Planning Commission approved preliminary guidelines for commercial and residential development, and the project managers officially put out calls for local designers to submit proposals for the first phase of development. Two major tenants, Carnegie Mellon University’s Manufacturing Futures Initiative and the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute (ARM), are expected to open in early 2019. These high-tech factories will be housed in redeveloped pieces of the Jones and Laughlin steel mill. Catalyst Connection, a Pittsburgh-based workforce development organization dedicated to helping small manufacturers, will move its headquarters to Hazelwood Green in October of this year.

3 Crossings Expansion
In early December, Oxford Development revealed plans for The Stacks at 3 Crossings, a pair of three-story, 55,415-square-foot workspaces located at Railroad and 29th Streets on the site of the former Packaging Corporation of America. The project is expected to be finished by the fall of 2019. Oxford Development says The Stacks are just the second phase of a much broader expansion of the 3 Crossings development. Since breaking ground in 2014, the mixed-use project has quickly added a wide variety of living, working and shopping spaces to the Strip District. Today, the complex includes 300 apartment units and four office buildings housing clients like Apple and Argo AI.

Bakery Square 2.0

Bakery Square
Free summer events at Bakery Square.

With tenants like Google, UPMC, Carnegie Mellon and Pitt, Bakery Square has been at the center of some of the most dynamic real estate deals the city has seen in the last several decades. This trend will only continue into 2019, as Walnut Capital looks to begin construction on the third and apparently final building in the mixed-use development. Philips has already signed on to use several floors of the office to house more than 1,250 of their local employees, and more high-profile tenants will likely sign on in the new year. Construction of the project is expected to carry on for the next two years.

Did someone say “lagoon?” In December, the Pittsburgh-based property developer Millcraft Investments unveiled further details of the ambitious Esplanade project, which looks to bring a 15-acre mixed-use living, working and recreation space to the Chateau neighborhood on the North Side. (Yes, that’s north of the casino.) Millcraft has also promised a climate-controlled Ferris wheel that will operate year-round and provide visitors with panoramic views of the city. Look for more high-profile tenants to sign leases over the next several months.

8th and Penn

The view of the project from Eighth Avenue. Photo by TH Carlisle.

The McNally Building at 711 Penn Avenue and the Bonn Building at 713 have been fixtures of Downtown Pittsburgh since the 1890s. In 2019, the twin historic structures will get a new lease on life. Through a partnership with local firms Trek and Q Development, these two structures are being restored and redeveloped into a mix of micros, studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments — 136 in all. The building will also include 190,000 square feet of commercial space at street level. Occupancy will begin in June of 2019.

Bill O'Toole

Bill O'Toole was a full-time reporter for NEXTpittsburgh until October, 2019. He previously reported in Myanmar.